Trinidad and Tobago Wild Life

Trinidad and Tobago Wild Life

 

LAND

Armadillo (Tatoo)-The Nine Banded Armadillo is the only species of Armadillo found in Trinidad.

picture of The Nine Banded Armadillo Dasypus Novemcinctus
The Nine Banded Armadillo Dasypus Novemcinctus
The Nine Banded Armadillo is the only species of Armadillo that has nine bands on its armor and this species dates back three million years. Its lifespan is 12-20 years with an average weight of 6.5 kilos and they are 127cm long on average. An Armadillo`s tail can grow to 53cm and their diet consists of worms, insects, ants, termites, small beetles, some fruits and bird eggs. Their long nose gives them the ability to smell food up to 8 inches in soil depth. if it were not for the Nine Banded Armadillo very little progress would have been made in knowing the cause of Leprosy.
Picture of NineBandArmadillo(Dasupus Novemcintus)
NineBandArmadillo(Dasupus Novemcintus)
The animal`s low body heat makes it susceptible to Leprosy also known as Hansen`s Disease. There are 2 types of Leprosy, the more virulent type causes numerous sores to form on the skin and the milder type causes fewer sores. The disease is rarely fatal and although it may cause permanent disfigurement once treated on time usually causes less damage.
picture of Captured Armadillo in Trinidad
Captured Armadillo in Trinidad
Early studies have shown that the risk of human infection from contact with  Nine Banded Armadillos is unlikely. However, more modern studies suggest that man an contract the disease from contact with the animal. A new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that in an experiment some people had contracted the disease  from contact with the Armadillos.
picture of Captured Armadillo in Trinidad
Captured Armadillo in Trinidad
The symptoms can take years to appear and this makes it tricky  to pinpoint when the disease was contracted. For a long time Armadillos have been hunted by man for food and in the United States of America it was called "Poor Man`s Pork" or "Hoover Hog" during the great depression.
The Nine Banded Armadillo was with some resistance made the small state mammal of Texas, where it is considered a pest.
  BATS.-There are over 70 species of Bats in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • The Common Vampire Bat (Vampyrum Spectrum)
pic of The Common Vampire Bat
The Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus Rotundus)
This is the Common Vampire Bat and it is a medium sized bat with large canines, a flattened nose and a groove on the lower lip. They roost in caves and hollow trees and they feed on mammalian blood such as cattle, pigs, and horses. The Common Vampire Bat and all Vampire Bats are highly specialized animals with amazing features.
The weight of all Vampire Bats is approximately 30 grams and they are one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet due to their association with Dracula when the real truth is that the Dracula myth existed long before vampire bats were discovered.
 
  • The White Winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus Youngi)
pic of The White winged Vampire Bat
The White winged Vampire Bat (Diameus Youngi)
The White winged Vampire Bat is medium sized bat with large eyes and a flattened nose. They are brown to grey in color and have black wings. They feed on the blood of birds, mainly chickens. There are only 3 species of vampire Bats in the World and all are confined to central and South America. Two of these species are found in Trinidad. The White Winged Vampire Bat(Diaemus Youngi) and the Common Vampire Bat(Vampyrum Spectrum).The flattened nose of Vampire Bats contains small heat seeking sensors that enable the bat to locate blood vessels close to the skin.
The saliva of Vampire Bats contain an anti-coagulant and an
picture of Vampire Bat leaves blood stain on cow in Trinidad.
Vampire Bat leaves blood stain on cow in Trinidad.
anesthetic which mean the sleeping animal does not feel a thing. The enzyme that prevents blood from clotting is now used to treat stroke victims and save hundreds of lives each year.    
 
  • The Great False Vampire Bat (Vampyrum Spectrum)
pic of ThegreatFalseVampireBat
The Great False Vampire Bat (Vampyrum Spectrum)
 
pic of FalseVampireBat(Vampyrum Spectrum)
FalseVampireBat(Vampyrum Spectrum)
This is the Great False Vampire Bat and it is a very large bat with round ears and a powerful jaw. They roost in family groups and are formidable aerial night hunters. While true vampire bats, parasitically feed on the blood of larger animals, this species rather actively hunts prey. They feed on other bats, lizards, birds and rodents. These bats have a distinctive thumb which is long and has 3 pads.
The False Vampire Bat is the largest bat in Trinidad and the largest carnivorous bat in the world. Photo: Merlin Tuttle (trinibirding)
  • The Macconnell Bat (Mesophylla macconnelli)
pic of The  Macconnell Bat(Mesophylla Macconnelli)
The Macconnell Bat(Mesophylla Macconnelli)
The Macconnell Bat (Mesophylla macconnelli) was captured and released in the Bush Bush Sanctuary, Nariva Swamp, Trinidad. The species' bright yellow ears and nose-leaf are distinctive. These, and many of the other sometimes quite bizarre appendages often seen on the faces of bats, are merely different forms of echolocation equipment. They are fascinating examples of the high-tech gadgetry nature has come up with to facilitate the bat's ability to navigate and forage in a forest at night, and not crash into things. An efficient seed disperser and pollinator, the Macconnell Bat averages 7 grams (0.2 oz) in weight, and includes fruit, pollen, and nectar in its diet.
cc: Dick Wilkins (Trinibats)
pic of A Cave at Tamana Hill
A Cave at Tamana Hill
Trinidad has more types of bats than any other country.There are 100 species of mammals in Trinidad and Tobago of which 60 are bats.The Tamana Caves, located in the Tamana Hills in Trinidad has a bat population between 500,000 to 3 million bats. In 1931 Dr Joseph Lennox Pawan, a Trinidadian medical doctor, was the first to discover that the rabies virus was transmitted by bats. It is unclear what kind of the bat influenced Bruce Wayne in becoming Batman.

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